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An Investigation of Poetic Techniques from Stanzaic Forms to Fourteen-line Narratives in IsiZulu Poetry


  • Thwala Jozi Joseph

    (M.E.R Mathivha Centre for African Languages, Arts and Culture, School of Human and Social Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, Limpopo Province, South Africa)

  • Twala Mandla Alfred

    (Director: Monitoring and Evaluation, Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa)


The objectives of this article are to survey and explicate the poetic techniques that are functional in stanzaic forms and fourteen-line narratives in isiZulu. Various types of stanzas, namely: expanding, bulging, mixed, diminishing and regular are selected for analysis. The stanzaic forms start from four-line stanzas to fourteen-line narratives. Detailed discussions on the lines are the major focus of the article. Relevant examples are cited to display the stanzaic forms, types and sonnets. The differences among various sonnets are structurally highlighted to show the poetic techniques. The formalist approach is appropriate for this poetic discourse from the counting of lines, stanzas to fourteen-line narratives. Despite the poetic techniques that are fundamental in this analysis, the selected poems have a sound didactic principle that broaden human experiences, acquaint the reader with language proficiency and awaked new reality. They have artistic values that enhance coherence, social truth and descriptive imagery.

Suggested Citation

  • Thwala Jozi Joseph & Twala Mandla Alfred, 2018. "An Investigation of Poetic Techniques from Stanzaic Forms to Fourteen-line Narratives in IsiZulu Poetry," Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, Sciendo, vol. 9(1), pages 109-119, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:vrs:mjsosc:v:9:y:2018:i:1:p:109-119:n:11

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